Nearly everything in your home, including air-conditioners, thermostats, lights, and even your toaster, can now be remotely controlled on-the-go with a mobile device. But how exactly can you make your home “smart” and use these types of devices to your benefit?
Whether it’s lighting, cleaning, or temperature control, there are lots of ways to start automating your home and connecting the devices you use most frequently. However, there are so many different devices and accessories that only work with specific counterparts, and some simply perform better than others. Here are some ways to sort through the different smart home technologies and bring your home into the 21st century.
Upgrade Your Wi-Fi Connection
The foundation for any well-functioning smart home is built on having a strong wi-fi connection throughout your house. Wireless plans are cheaper than ever, and with a few simple tricks, you can maximize the strength of your internet connection.
Router placement is crucial for connecting your devices. Make sure to choose a central location and do your best to avoid placing it near metal objects, concrete or brick walls, and microwaves. One easy trick is to put your router somewhere up high, as radio waves tend to emit outwards and down. Lastly, position the antenna upward for a better horizontal reach, or sideways for vertical reach, and you’ll be set!
Add Peace of Mind With Remote Video Monitoring
While the idea of having video cameras in your home may seem strange, many people have begun to see the advantages of getting a security camera to keep a close watch on their belongings.
Having a camera allows you to keep an eye on things while you’re away on vacation, or even just check up on your pets while you’re at work. Video cameras on the outside of your home are great deterrents for burglars, and can provide you with ironclad evidence in case an incident does unfortunately occur.
If you decide to get a security camera, there are a bunch of great apps that can give you convenient access to live streams of your video right from your phone.
Get an Always-on Assistant
A great way to add to your smart home compatibility is by using an always-on assistant as a hub for the rest of your smart home technology. Think of devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, which are already on the market and are easy to set up and use.
It’s important to ensure beforehand that your assistant can integrate with your other smart gadgets. This list can help you find devices that work with a Google Home, and this one will help with Alexa devices.
The first things to set up with these devices are their partner gadgets: Google Chromecast and the Amazon Fire Stick. These integrate easily with your assistant, and let you control your TV with just your voice or your phone.
Find Some Smart Gadgets
Once your assistant is set up, you can start integrating the rest of your house.
First things first: start with smart lights and switches. These gadgets allow you to control the lights in your house from your phone, even when you’re not home. This will also give you the ability to set schedules using your mobile device. You can set your lights to turn on at sunset or when you get home, or even when you have to be up in the morning (perfect for those who have trouble getting out of bed!). You’ll never have to drag yourself out of bed at night to shut off the lights all the way in the living room again.
Another useful gadget is a smart thermostat, which can help you save a ton on your heating and cooling costs. It can make your house the right temperature for when you’re home and reduce your costs while you’re at work. Some smart thermostats can also learn your habits and adjust themselves, keeping the temperature regulated without you having to constantly fiddle with them.
On top of these, there are so many other devices you can try out in your home. A smart doorbell lets you see who rings it even if you aren’t home. Smart garage openers allow you to close the door from the road if you forget. Cleaning devices like a Roomba can also be great additions to your new smart home. Nowadays you can even control electrical outlets with your phone, making the possibilities for your smart home practically limitless.
Making your home “smart” isn’t just for show—it’s also practical. You can save a lot on your energy costs and give yourself peace of mind knowing you can check in on your home from wherever, whenever.
Check out some more smart home trends and get yourself on the way to having your very own smart home.